- Nausea and vomiting in cancer patients
- Pain in patients with multiple sclerosis
- Chronic pain in patients with cancer
- Nerve pain
- What is Weed?
- How Do People Consume Weed?
- Age and Gender Demographics of Weed Use
- 7 Smokable Plants You Can Grow That Aren’t Marijuana
- Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
- Skullcap (Scutellaria spp.)
- Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
- Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)
- Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
- Mint (Mentha spp.)
- Sage (Salvia spp.)
- Turn These 5 Weeds into Tea
- Fertilizer Tea from Plants, Weeds, and Grass
- How to Make Weed Tea: Fertilizer for your Garden
- Making Weed Tea
- How Often Should You Fertilize?
- Shelf Life
(Image credit: OpenRangeStock/)
It’s now legal to use marijuana to treat certain medical conditions in 25 states, but the Food and Drug Administration has still not approved the marijuana plant as a treatment for any disease or health issue. That’s because there haven’t been enough large studies of the drug to show that its benefits outweigh the risks in patients who use it, said the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). And in order to gain approval, researchers also need show that marijuana is safer or more effective than existing treatments for certain conditions.
Nevertheless, scientists have good reason to think that the marijuana plant could be useful in treating a number of medical conditions. The active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been shown to increases appetite and reduces nausea. Another chemical in marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), may decrease pain and inflammation and help with muscle-control problems, according to NIDA. Both THC and CBD belong to a group of chemicals called cannabinoids.
Live Science has rounded up the promising evidence that medical marijuana may help people with certain conditions. Here’s what we found:
Nausea and vomiting in cancer patients
(Image credit: Stanimir G.Stoev | .com )
Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy may develop nausea and vomiting as a side effect of their treatment. A 2015 analysis of three studies involving cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy found that nausea and vomiting completely stopped in 47 percent of patients using cannabinoids (THC or CBD), while the symptoms completely stopped in only about 20 percent of those who took a placebo. Another study, of 15 cancer patients who both took THC orally and smoked marijuana, found that most patients experienced reduced nausea and vomiting, compared to when they didn’t receive these drugs.
Another study, of 600 cancer patients, found that the compound nabilone (a synthetic form of THC) was better at preventing nausea and vomiting than were several existing anti-nausea medications. However, more studies are needed to determine whether smoking marijuana works better than newer types of anti-nausea medications for this purpose, a 2016 review said.
Pain in patients with multiple sclerosis
(Image credit: Medical marijuana via )
Marijuana may reduce feelings of burning, tingling or numbness, as well as pain from muscle spasms, in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a 2014 review study. The study found strong evidence that oral cannabis extract, which is a pill made from CBD, or a combination of THC and CBD, can help with these symptoms, the researchers said. However, not enough studies have been conducted to determine whether smoking marijuana helps with symptoms of MS, the review found.
Chronic pain in patients with cancer
(Image credit: GW Pharmaceuticals)
A small study of 36 cancer patients found that 10 milligrams of THC produced pain-relieving effects comparable to those of taking 60 mg of the opiate codeine. Another study of a drug called nabiximols (brand name Sativex), which is a “marijuana mouth spray” that contains both THC and CBD, found that low and medium doses of the spray had better pain-relieving effects than a placebo. This result was found in cancer patients with pain who had not been helped by taking opioid drugs. However, very few studies have looked at the benefits of smoked marijuana for treating pain in cancer patients.
(Image credit: NSF)
A 2010 study looked at 23 patients who had neuropathic pain (which is pain caused by damage to nerves) after trauma or surgery. The study found that those who smoked marijuana reported they had less pain and slept better than those who were given a placebo. A 2013 study of 39 people found that vaporized cannabis reduced neuropathic pain in patients who had not been helped by other treatments.
(Image credit: Lightspring/.com)
A 2015 study examined whether a daily dose of cannabis extract could help people with severe epilepsy who had not been helped by previous treatments. The study included 137 people who ranged in age from toddlers to adults. It found that the number of seizures that participants experienced declined by 54 percent over a 12-week period. Still, the study did not include a “control group” of participants who didn’t take the drug, so it’s not clear if the results were due to a placebo effect, the researchers said.
What is Weed?
“Weed” is one of the most popular slang words for cannabis. The term seems to have arisen in the 1920s. In 1929, American Speech reports included it “Among the New Words,” defining it as “marijuana cigarette.” The venerable Oxford English Dictionary in 1932 cited the Chicago Defender as reporting, “The humble ‘reefer,’ ‘the weed,’ the marijuana, or what have you by way of a name for a doped cigarette has moved to Park Ave. from Harlem.”
The ever-hip Raymond Chandler, the master of the detective novel, seems to have been the first author who used “weed” on its own, with no “the” in front of it. “They were looking for … a suitcase full of weed,” Chandler wrote in The Little Sister in 1949.
The term somehow gained a new lease on life in the early 1990s. Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, which shows relative frequency of usage in American printed sources, shows that “weed” started gaining prominence around that time. By 2013, a search of Google Books indicated “smoke marijuana” was used 69 times, “smoke put” 94 times, and “smoke weed” a whopping 149 times.
That impression is confirmed by Urban Dictionary, where users have contributed no fewer than 225 separate definitions for “weed.” Incidentally, the top-voted definition, posted by “AYB” back in 2003, is worth repeating here:
“God’s gift to the world. Brings peace when used wisely.”
How Do People Consume Weed?
The five most popular methods of consuming weed are smoking, vaporization, edibles, ingestibles, and raw cannabis.
• Smoking is the go-to method of consumption for most people who use weed. The psychoactivity of THC is activated by the heat. THC makes it quickly into the bloodstream and thereby to the brain, producing the well-known “high.” While multiple large studies have failed to establish a connection between smoking weed and lung cancer, any type of smoke is an irritant to the lungs and bronchial passageways.
• Vaporization is a great option for those who enjoy the rapid effects of smoking but want to avoid the harmful effects of smoke itself. In vaporization, cannabis is heated to the point where the cannabinoids become a vapor, but not hot enough to actually combust the plant material. This eliminates smoke-derived free radicals that can damage cells. Same with hotboxing.
• Edibles are an excellent way to achieve a long-lasting high, because of the way they are metabolized. They also make possible the ingestion of large doses, which are often necessary for pain patients and others. The chief disadvantage is a longer time before effects are felt. This “waiting period” can be anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. (Careful not to overindulge. While it won’t actually hurt you, having too much THC can make users uncomfortable, especially if they are novices.) You can take, for example, as drinkable weed making cannabis milk.
• Ingestibles include cannabis oils and tinctures. Full extract cannabis oil (FECO), also known as RSO, is an excellent option for pain control. A solvent such as alcohol is used to extract the cannabinoids from plant material to make FECO. Tinctures are produced in a similar way. Plant material is soaked in food-grade alcohol, which is then strained to produce the tincture.
• Raw cannabis is an increasingly popular method of consuming weed, especially with the advent of juicing and cannabis smoothies. It’s a smoke-free, psychoactivity-free method of consumption. Raw cannabis is the only way to preserve cannabinoid acids, the raw forms of THC, CBD, and the other cannabinoids. A major benefit of raw cannabis is that you can consume hundreds of times more cannabinoids than you can with activated weed. Raw cannabinoid acids don’t directly engage the cannabinoid receptors, so they don’t get you high.
Age and Gender Demographics of Weed Use
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While weed culture has traditionally centered around young, male smokers, the legalization and normalization of cannabis (finally, we don’t need a dealer) have made it more accessible than ever before to everyone. Even so, certain patterns have held.
According to an analysis of cannabis retailer transaction data, including customer loyalty programs, Headset in 2016 got a lot of information about who buys legal weed. The data suggest that people in the customer loyalty programs are overwhelmingly male (about 70 percent of all members). Customers ranged in age from 21 to 95, but more than 50 percent of loyalty members were under 40.
The largest percentage of customer loyalty members were 25 to 29 years old (20 percent). This was followed by 21 to 24-year-olds, at 16 percent. But the average customer is 37.6 years old, with males averaging 37.4 and female customers averaging 38.2 years old. People from 65 to 95 years old makeup fewer than 5 percent of customers.
As for gender differences, 68.9 percent of dispensary customers were men. That ratio is well over 2:1, but is not shocking given weed culture’s traditional emphasis on the male user.
Men are more likely than women to buy concentrates. Women are more likely to buy pre-rolls and edibles, according to the data.
Other articles you can be interested in:
- Cannabis PTSD: How Cannabis Successfully Combats PTSD
- Adderall and Weed: What’s the deal with weed and Adderall?
- Best Indica Strains
7 Smokable Plants You Can Grow That Aren’t Marijuana
Quite a few plants may be safely, and pleasurable, lit up in a pipe or rolling papers. Those listed below are legal, unregulated, and totally safe to use. They are also non-hallucinogenic and non-addictive – perhaps that explains their lack of popularity?
While they won’t get you high, when blended according to the instructions below, these herbs produce a smooth, tasty smoke and give a gentle, relaxing buzz. All of the following varieties may be purchased online or at any well-stocked herb store. You may also grow your own. Of course, we’d be remiss not to remind you to discuss any questions with a doctor.
While scores of herbs are smokable, those listed below are among the most commonly used and easily grown at home. Skip to the sidebar to learn how to dry your herbs into the perfect smoking blend.
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
By 13Smile / .com
Herbal Properties: Mullein has a long history of use as a lung tonic. It can actually help you stop coughing when you’re sick.
Smoking Qualities: The smoke is extremely light and mild, almost like smoking air, and virtually flavorless.
Type of Plant: This biennial herb grows up to two feet wide at the base, with flower stalks rising six feet or more.
How to Grow: Considered by some a garden weed, this fuzzy-leafed plant is very easy to grow from seed planted directly in the garden in spring. It prefers a sunny location and soil that is well-drained and not too fertile. It benefits from a bit of irrigation as a seedling but is drought-tolerant once established.
Skullcap (Scutellaria spp.)
By Mariola Anna S / .com
Herbal Properties: Skullcap has a mild calming effect when smoked.
Smoking Qualities: This herb is a medium smoke, with a fairly neutral flavor.
Type of Plant: A spreading perennial that grows about a foot tall, skullcap makes an attractive groundcover in the garden.
How to Grow: Sow seeds indoors in spring, planting the seedlings in a sunny or partly shaded location with rich soil once the weather has warmed. Skullcap requires weekly irrigation during dry periods. Cut the dried foliage to the ground each fall.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
By footageclips / .com
Herbal Properties: Coltsfoot is an expectorant, helping to free phlegm from the lungs.
Smoking Qualities: This herb is a light smoke with a neutral flavor, but can cause harsh coughing if used in a high concentration in smoking blends.
Type of Plant: This 6- to 12-inch tall groundcover spreads by underground rhizomes to form extensive colonies under optimum growing conditions.
How to Grow: Dried coltsfoot seed rarely germinates, but “fresh” seed, as well as potted plants, are available online. Rich, moist soil and a location in full sun or part shade are this plant’s preferred growing conditions.
Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)
By Skyprayer2005 / .com
Herbal Properties: Many ancient cultures smoked mugwort to promote vivid dreams. It also produces a very mild psychotropic effect while you’re awake.
Smoking Qualities: This herb is a light smoke with a pleasant, slightly sweet flavor.
Type of Plant: Mugwort is a spreading perennial growing up to 2 feet tall.
How to Grow: While seeds are available online, mugwort is easier to start from a potted plant, or by transplanting a clump from an established patch. Mugwort thrives with little care once established, but beware: it can become invasive, especially in moist locations. Cut the dried stalks to the ground each fall.
Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
By Sigur / .com
Herbal Properties: Also known by the Algonquin name kinnikinnick, this native plant has long been smoked by Native American tribes for ceremonial purposes.
Smoking Qualities: Uva-ursi herb is a medium smoke with a strong earthy flavor.
Type of Plant: This attractive woody groundcover, which grows about 6 inches tall, is a popular landscaping plant.
How to Grow: Uva-ursi is very difficult to propagate by seed, so it’s best to obtain potted specimens from a native plant nursery in your area, or from an online supplier. Grow in full sun or light shade; excellent drainage is essential. Uva-ursi is drought-tolerant and requires little care once established.
Mint (Mentha spp.)
By Eag1eEyes / .com
Herbal Properties: Mints are used primarily to impart flavor to smoking blends. There are many varieties worth experimenting with, including spearmint (Mentha spicata) (pictured above), peppermint (Mentha piperita), and chocolate mint (Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’). Close relatives of mint, including lemon balm (lemony flavor) and yerba buena (sweet menthol flavor), are often incorporated in smoking blends, as well.
Smoking Qualities: Varies by species.
Type of Plant: These herbaceous perennials spread to form extensive colonies under optimum growing conditions.
How to Grow: Mints are easier to establish from potted plants, or by transplanting a clump from an established patch, than by sowing seeds. Part sun and rich, moist soil are the preferred growing conditions. Mints can become invasive in the garden, especially in moist areas, so you may want to confine them to a pot. Cut the dried stalks to the ground each fall.
Sage (Salvia spp.)
By sasimoto / .com
Herbal Properties: Sages are used primarily to impart flavor to smoking blends. There are many varieties worth experimenting with, including white sage (Salvia apiana), black sage (Salvia mellifera), and pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) (pictured above). Beware though: One type of sage, Salvia divinorum, has strong psychotropic properties and is illegal in many states (many gardeners find themselves accidentally breaking the law).
Smoking Qualities: Varies by species.
Type of Plant: Most sages are shrubby perennials, ranging from less than 1 foot to more than 6 feet tall.
How to Grow: Growing conditions vary by species, but most sages prefer full sun and dry conditions. Cut them back about 50 percent each fall.
Turn These 5 Weeds into Tea
July 21, 2017
Written by: CeAnne Kosel, St. Fiacre’s Farm
July, 18th, 2017
When we first moved from our duplex in town to our two acre farm it was a big mess because of the new construction on the house. Being winter in Oregon there was mud evvvvvery where, because of, well… rain. A good portion of our two acres was disturbed, wet, muddy… with not much of a yard to look at, but plenty of opportunity awaiting us. As our first year on our micro farm progressed the greenery started to come back in abundance. Soon we had weeds of every kind in our yard.
Then it happened. A horrible cough hit me that turned into bronchitis. Being a fan of herbal medicine, after years of failed antibiotics, I went looking for something that would help me in my situation. I purchased some mullein leaf tea. It helped so much that I decided to learn more about this wonderful plant. Only then did I discover that that very plant was growing all over our yard. As it turns out that it likes to grow in newly disturbed areas and that we had plenty of!
My experience with mullein got me thinking about the other “weeds” in our yard. Which is why I’m here today, to share with you five common weeds that may be used as teas as well as for other medicinal purposes.
My husband and I, with our four adopted children, hand blend artisan loose leaf tea on our small 2 acre farm in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range. We grow some of the herbs ourselves, next we source from local farms and lastly from large organic herb suppliers. We have a passion for supporting local business and farmers and also in educating others on the wonderful usefulness of plants, herbs, flowers and berries. Everyone can be their own local farmer! Even with just the weeds in your yard.
Tea blending can be complicated or as simple as going into your own yard or even foraging on a hike. It all just depends on the reason and purpose of your tea! As a precaution please note that we discourage people against foraging for plants on the sides of roads or other heavily sprayed and high traffic areas as they may not be suitable for use. Today we are going to look at five common weeds that you can use in tea, how to use them and what ailments they help with.
Before we begin, please remember this is for educational purposes only. We do not intend to treat, cure or diagnose any disease. Please consult with your health care provider before using any of these plants as they could interfere with prescription medications, may be unsuitable for pregnant or expecting women or the incorrect herb for your situation.
Now that we dealt with the fine print lets move on to those useful weeds!
First up on the list is that very well known yellow flower that seems to defy all chemical treatments, and lawn care tactics aside from digging them out by hand. The Dandelion. Here I think we might apply the old adage, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
That’s right, its time to embrace the dandelion as a wonderful, WANTED herb rather than the despised lawn weed. Dandelion is great when the root is roasted and used as an herbal tea that tastes similar to coffee. The leaves and the flowers may be used in salads. Dandelion holds many medicinal qualities including but not limited to: a diuretic, liver tonic, assists with high blood pressure, mild appetite stimulant, helps upset stomach, supports blood sugar levels, assists with detoxification, kidney function. As well as great in the skin care department for eczema, acne and sensitive skin. The roots make great tea while the leaves and flowers really shine in skin care preparation.
Next up on the list, weed number two, is called yellow dock and/or curly dock. We had tons of this in our pasture before we had goats to graze it down. It gets very tall with large stocks that have dark colored seeds in the summertime. This weed also has many medicinal properties including assisting with anemia, a mild laxative (in some), aides in the digestion of fats, assists skin conditions such as itching and sores, helps to purify the blood, detox the liver and gallbladder and is considered an antioxidant. When using the leaves as tea you might consider adding some vanilla, rose hips, hibiscus, holy basil and licorice root to the mix for a tasty tea. You will want to harvest in later summer after the seeds have arrived and they turn red. Steamed leaves may be used in salads and frittatas. The seeds can be ground and made into crackers.
Next up, plant number three, numero tres, plantain. No we are not talking about the banana looking plantain, this is the medicinal plant. Plantain leaf is usually found down low to the ground in either a broad or narrow leaf variety. It has stocks that shoot up from the middle and have seeds on the top of them. We have both on our farm. In fact we may have more plantain than grass. It is in our lawn, in the pasture, in our greenhouse and in the orchard. No shortage here!
Plantain also makes a great tea, not a tasty tea but a very helpful one in the medicinal word. Back when I discovered that usefulness of mullein leaf with my bronchitis, plantain was also another contributor on my path back to good health. The two together were fantastic. You will want to harvest this lovely plant in the spring or the fall. It is known as natures band aid when used as a spit poultice or in a salve, its great at helping to stop bleeding. And at taking the sting out of bee stings! (A great thing to have growing everywhere!) It also assists with IBS, rashes, burns, calms the bowels, bug bits, allergic rashes, indigestion, helps with kidney and bladder infections, assists cholesterol and diabetes. The leaf and stem may be used in salads, a tea made from plantain is great for easing sunburns, it can also be used as a mouth wash. Other great ways to use this plant are in the forms of compresses, tinctures and salves.
Weeeeed number four! Yet another I purchased before realizing that it was growing in our yard! Chickweed! If you have ever gone romping through an tall field and had some weed stick to you like crazy then you have met chickweed! Also known as catch weed…. sticky willy…. goose grass…. barweed… cleavers and Galium Aparine for those of you who know your Latin. (That’s not me by the way!) Though I must admit Latin has its place, and the meaning of galium aparine is to layhold and seize! Yes … cleavers/sticky weed is just that!
After you are done untangling yourself from this highly medicinal weed its great for things like helping your lymphatic system, the immune system, it’s a great tonic for fevers, a blood purifier, works as a urinary stringent, assist the liver and gallbladder, speeds healing with wounds and burns and helps an array of skin ailments such as eczema, psoriasis, as well as being a mild laxative. Along with dandelion, chickweed has also been used as a coffee substitute and medicinal tea. It may also be used in tincture form to assist the above issues, used freshly as a poultice and preserved into a salve.
And last but not least, weed number five. Five. Five. You didn’t realize you had such a medicine cabinet in your yard did you? Its just the beginning or rather here is the end but on we go. White clover. Yep, that little white flower, usually growing amongst your lawn that the bees love creating an active ground cover as they bumble around their favorite food. They make fantastic clover honey out of it too I might say! (Which goes great in tea, wink wink) White clover acts as yet another blood purifier, assists in detoxing, helps the lymph to flow, assists with gout, reduces arthritis, aides the digestive system as well as the liver and respiratory ailments, it acts as a decongestant and expectorant, helps with hormonal functioning and assists with skin disorders. It would work fantastic as a tea, leaves a slight vanilla flavor to cakes and acts as a nitrogen fixer (green manure) in the garden.
That brings us to the end of those wonderful medicinals in your yard. Thanks for hanging out in the weeds with us today! We hope with these tidbits that you find yourself out in the yard collecting those weeds and putting them to good use. After all, a weed is just an unwanted plant in an unwanted space… turn those weeds in to medicinals! For more herbal goodness, gardening tips and local teas you will find us blogging at www.StFiacresFarm.com, teaching at www.GrowCreateSip.com and vlogging on Youtube under St. Fiacre’s Farm. We will see you next time! Cheers!
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Fertilizer Tea from Plants, Weeds, and Grass
Using your own garden weeds and grass, you can make homemade fertilizer tea. Here’s how.
Yes, garden plants appreciate a spot of tea now and then too—just like I do—as a pick-me-up. No expensive Earl Grey or Darjeeling for them though, instead I make a free fertilizer tea from plants, weeds or grass that they appreciate even more.
Compost tea and manure tea have been mainstays of the organic garden for a long time. It is not hard to toss some compost into a bucket of water and let it steep for a few days to a few weeks, stirring daily. Cover with a piece of screening or row cover to keep mosquitoes from breeding in it. Strain off the liquid, return the solids to your compost pile, and use the liquid as a soil drench or a foliage spray, either full strength or diluted.
Garden teas made from plants are just as easy and don’t require you to pick up a load of manure or use any of your precious compost. Next time you are weeding the garden throw all the weeds into a bucket or trash can, chopping them up as you go. When it is about half full, fill it with water. Don’t use chlorinated water; rainwater is the best (also free!)
Screen the top to keep mosquitoes out. Stir daily or if using manageable sized buckets you can pour it from one bucket into another to mix things up and keep it aerated. Let it soak for 3 days to 2 weeks. Strain and use the liquid right away as a fertilizer or foliar feeding. It can be diluted or used full strength on established plants. Since plant leaves tend to absorb more nutrients faster than roots, foliar feeding is an efficient way to fertilize. Weeds are full of nutrients they have absorbed from your soil so it is only fitting to extract the water soluble ones and return them to your garden plants.
Some plants make extra nourishing fertilizer tea:
- Stinging nettle is high in nitrogen, calcium, iron,vitamins A,B, & C, phosphorus, potassium, boron, iron, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. A natural insect repellant, when sprayed on leaves it can help plants resist insect and fungal attacks.
Be sure to wear gloves when collecting nettles.
- Alfalfa is high in nitrogen, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium, calcium, and trace minerals. If you don’t have access to it you can use alfalfa hay, meal, or pellets. This is a “weed” whose growth I encourage in my garden, along with clover. Both are legumes and make a great soil-enhancing mulch or nitrogen-rich tea.
- Horsetail is a deeply rooted weed that draws up minerals including potassium, silica, and iron from far below the soil.
- Willow is rich in growth hormones, making it especially good for getting young transplants off to a good start.
- Comfrey is rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A,B,& C, and trace minerals.
I always add a few comfrey leaves to each batch of tea.
- Chicory is high in potassium, calcium, and vitamin A.
- Dandelions can be put to good use making a tea that is full of vitamins A & C along with calcium and potassium.
Don’t have any of those plants? Grass works well too. Fresh grass clippings are high in nitrogen and potassium. Gather up your clippings next time you mow the lawn, fill a bucket 2/3 full of them, add water and steep 3 days, stirring daily.
Fertilizer teas are fast-acting and free. Apply them no more than every two weeks or when your plants need a boost. They are especially effective on newly transplanted ones and those in blossom or setting fruit. Brew up a batch of weeds and throw a garden tea party for your plants!
How to Make Weed Tea: Fertilizer for your Garden
Even us die hard foragers enjoy the pleasures that gardening provides us. Believe it or not, there are actually some weeds that grow that we’d rather not see. For example, there’s only so much knotgrass we can use yet it can take over areas in ways that can even leave us frustrated. There are even weeds that make an appearance in our gardens that serve no use to a forager such as the buttercup. These plants, and others, made into a weed tea is an incredible way to put them to good use. Some people like to compost the weeds they pull but if those weeds have seeds then ultimately this is not a good solution.Weed tea fertilizer is one way to kill them and effectively recycle nutrients into the garden. When you use a variety of weeds to make your weed tea fertilizer, you will create a nutrient-dense tea that your garden and indoor plants will totally thrive on.
Making Weed Tea
The process of making weed tea is simple, but remember, this tea is strictly for your garden or house plants and is never to be consumed by people or animals.
- First, get a large non-metallic bucket or other container with a lid. Place the gathered weeds (leaves, roots and flowers) in the bucket.
- Add water until all plant matter is covered and there is at least 2 cm (1″) of water over the weeds; then cover the bucket with a tight fitting lid.
- Let the bucket sit for about four weeks (preferably not in direct sunshine).
- Stir it (or shake it) every four or five days, but beware; it will not smell pleasant.
The fermentation process is wicked on the nasal passages, but do remember that this will become the ultimate fertilizer. Do not get any of this mixture on your clothing because it will stain. Use gloves to protect your hands from staining as well.
After four weeks, strain the plant matter out of the liquid using cheesecloth or a strainer. The liquid is what you need to save.
What you have now is a concentrated fertilizer. Before using this on your garden, it must be diluted. Dilute as follows: 2 parts weed tea to 10 parts water. Never use this directly onto vegetables that are ready to be harvested.
How Often Should You Fertilize?
Garden Plants: There are a large variety of plants and there is no “one answer” for this. It is best to research this or call your local garden centre.
Houseplants: According to the University of Illinois, plants should be fertilized only when they are actively growing. Most houseplants will not need to be fertilized more than once every 1 to 3 months, between March and September. During the short days of winter, plants experience a rest period and usually need very little or no additional fertilizer.
Be sure to use your weed tea within the same growing season you made it, and the faster you use it, the better for your garden.
What’s great about making a weed tea is that it’s a win-win situation. You’re taking unwanted weeds and transforming them into a rich, liquid fertilizer that will nourish your garden.